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Balkans: World Bank, 4.4% growth in 2021

But forecasts depend on business confidence, tourism, pandemic

01 April, 10:12
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, APR 1 - After dropping severely in 2020 due to the pandemic, economic growth in the Western Balkans is expected to rebound to 4.4 percent in 2021 and to moderate to 3.7 percent in 2022, according to the latest forecasts of the World Bank (WB). However, the forecasts are dependent on the restoration of "consumer and business confidence" and on the easing of the "political instability", as COVID-19 is brought under control, the World Bank ECA Economic Update Spring 2021 reads. Moreover, "per capita income is anticipated to remain 6.5 percent below pre-pandemic projections by 2022" and "tourism-dependent economies," in particular Albania and Montenegro, "will continue to grapple with international travel restrictions," the World Bank said. According to the new WB forecasts, the strongest growth will be registered this year in Montenegro (+7.1%), followed by Serbia (+5.0%), Albania (+4.4%), Kosovo (+4.0%), North Macedonia (+3.6%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (+2,8%). In 2020, the most severe fall of GDP in the region was registered in Montenegro (-14.9%), followed by Kosovo (-6,9%), Albania (-4,7%), North Macedonia (-4.5%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (-4.0%) and Serbia (-1.0%). (ANSA).

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